Regulatory Recap: May 26 to June 1, 2011

The Regulatory Recap is now on a Friday posting schedule. President Obama nominated John Bryson to serve as Secretary of the Department of Commerce. Bryson is the former chair and chief executive of Edison International. After an investigation into allegations at Cornerstone Mortgage Company of discrimination against pregnant loan applicants, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) settled with the lender. The Supreme Court declined to review National Corn Growers Association v. EPA, in which the D.C. Circuit held that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could properly ban a pesticide that had been on the market for years without first holding an evidentiary hearing. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed civil charges against former NASDAQ managing director Donald Johnson after he pleaded guilty to secretly trading on information gained through his workplace. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it was evaluating the safety of certain of birth control pills allegedly causing blood clots in women. The Department of Transportation (DOT) and Pixar teamed up to create an ad for the DOT's Distracted Driving campaign. According to a report by the Merit Systems Protection Board, the federal government has increased its hiring and promotion of women in the federal workforce substantially in the past two decades, though gender inequality still remains. A Subcommittee of the House Oversight Committee considered proposals to decrease the size of the federal payroll by excluding union activities from federally paid time. Political scientist James Q. Wilson, Senior Fellow at the Clough Center at Boston College, published an essay in the Wall Street Journal questioning the generally accepted view that links unemployment and crime rates. The House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law held a hearing on the value of formal rulemaking procedures and heightened standards for judicial review.

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